Action at Level 2: influence on the epithelial barrier function

Action at Level 2: influence on the epithelial barrier function

Maintaining intestinal homeostasis requires that the epithelium, a layer of cells lining the intestinal wall, keeps formeing an uninterrupted barrier without spaces or gaps between the enterocytes. This optimal situation is known as barrier effect.

Normally, in a healthy person there is a communication and control between the host and microbiota residing in the gut, which creates a homeostatic balance of bacterial flora by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, preventing overgrowth and controlling the development of pathogenic bacteria.

The phenomena of dysbiosis, or imbalance of intestinal flora, invariably lead to bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine called SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), which tilts the balance toward the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

It is also known that situations such as food intolerances, presence of allergens like gluten, digestive disorders and even lifestyle are factors that increase intestinal permeability, losing the integrity of the intestinal mucosa.

All these unfavourable conditions taken together lead to an imbalance in the intestine that causes an alteration in the absorption processes, with the consequent lack of nutrients and micronutrients in the body, essential for a healthy live and, in the more severe states, favours the passage of toxic substances into the body.

The damage caused by the intestinal imbalance not only cause situations such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, but some scientific studies claim that high permeability of the intestine can be the cause of many mental and nervous illnesses, such as senile dementia, Alzheimer or Parkinson among others.

Megaflora 9 evo has demonstrated its ability to counter the phenomena of dysbiosis rebalancing the intestinal flora, maintaining the barrier effect and promoting the integrity of the gut mucosa, that allows the maintenance of the absorption processes and homeostasis between the host and the intestinal microbiota.

The integrity of the intestinal epithelium can be measured by an in vitro test that measures the Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER).

TEER methodology

TEER is a widely accepted quantitative technique that measures the dynamic integrity of cell junctions (tight junction) in models of endothelial and epithelial monolayers. TEER values are reliable indicators of the integrity of cell barriers for assessing the transport of drugs and other substances.

The values obtained in the TEER inform in real time reports about the integrity or alteration of monolayer cells, which is manifested by the electrical variation of values between the upper and the lower chambers. When the monolayer is subjected to the presence of a stressor in the apical part (upper chamber), the change in permeability can be measured as a decrease TEER between the upper and lower chamber.

The effectiveness of a probiotic strain on maintaining the barrier effect while placing the stressor can be detected by smaller decreases in TEER. The lesser decrease in TEER, the more effectiveness of the probiotic in maintaining the integrity of the monolayer and therefore it will preven the increase of permeability in presence of stressor agents.

TEER Methodology

To determine the barrier effect of Megaflora 9 evo, a Caco-2 monolayer cells was subjected to the presence of a stressor which increases the monolayer permeability.

The result showed that Megaflora 9 evo had a positive effect on the integrity of the monolayer cells, reducing the negative impact of the stressor compared to control.

Change in TEER in a monolayer of Caco-2 cells subjected to the presence of a stressor (red) and in the presence of the stressor and Megaflora 9 evo (green), relative to the control without stressor (blue)

Upon this result, it follows that the composition of Megaflora 9 evo has a balancing effect on the microflora in the intestine, avoiding the increased permeability of the intestinal mucosa caused by the presence of certain substances, pathogens or situations that influence the regulation of the bowel activity.

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